Arctic Apples™ have their own take on what a kanamycin resistant gene is, but this newly created GMO apple could threaten all exports of apples – not just to the EU from North America, but to China, Russia, Mexico, and Costa Rica due to regulations rescinding GMO crops. The makers of Arctic Apples (yes, a food that has grown naturally for thousands of years can be trademarked and patented, if that wasn’t ridiculous already) tell us that:
“The kanamycin resistance gene, known as nptII (neomycin phosphotransferase II), produces a protein that causes our plant tissue to be resistant to the antibiotic kanamycin. The nptII gene is one of the most widely used marker genes in plant transformations, and is so common in nature it was granted GRAS (Generally Recognized As Safe) status by the FDA. This protein is only produced in leaf tissue in sufficient quantities to make the leaves resistant to kanamycin, allowing our scientists to use this ‘marker’ to identify successful and precise placement of our nonbrowning genes. No nptII protein is expressed in Arctic apples.’
We already know that the overuse of antibiotics have caused super bugs, resistant to even the most potent pharmaceutical antibiotics, and a depleted overall immune system (see this infographic) due to the havoc they inflict on our gut flora. Now, they want to put antibiotics straight into our food, chemically, not naturally occurring. There is a difference.
Many foods contain antibiotic properties, but they don’t cause pandemics. They don’t kill people, bees, butterflies, and the entire natural world. All for an apple that doesn’t brown. I can’t say that the apple will be detrimental, because we really don’t know to what magnitude it can affect the ecosystem. But the history of GMOs and their negative effects point us in one direction.
The makers of Arctic Apples have also enlisted a scientist to say that the gene won’t cross-pollinate. What a laugh. We’ve heard that one before, and exactly the opposite has happened with GM – transgenic contamination is a huge issue already, and the seat of an epic battle between organic and non-organic farmers.
EU regulators are already savvy to GMO, though. They won’t allow GM apples from North America or anywhere else into their country. They fear cross-pollination, too, which is something these biotech companies never seem to consider with their outlandish creations. Due to adverse affects on human health and the environment, an EU directive forced all antibiotic marker gene GM crops to be phased out more than five years ago!
“Member States and the Commission shall ensure that GMOs which contain genes expressing resistance to antibiotics in use for medical or veterinary treatment are taken into particular consideration when carrying out an environmental risk assessment, with a view to identifying and phasing out antibiotic resistance markers (antibiotic markers) in GMOs which may have adverse effects on human health and the environment. This phasing out shall take place by the 31 December 2004 in the case of GMOs placed on the market according to part C and by31 December 2008 in the case of GMOs authorised under part B.”
Okanagan Specialty Fruits has petitioned for regulatory approval for the two GMO apple varieties in Canada from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and Health Canada, and in the US from the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), part of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).
If approved, as seems likely, they would be the first genetically engineered apple brought to market in North America. If this happens, there goes mom’s apple pie. This timeless American institution will be devoid of tradition and love, replaced with GMO venom.
Christina Sarich is a humanitarian and freelance writer helping you to Wake up Your Sleepy Little Head, and See the Big Picture. Her blog is Yoga for the New World. Her latest book is Pharma Sutra: Healing the Body And Mind Through the Art of Yoga.